By 9pm the news was known. Oklahoma Democrats swept two races. Both of the districts had been in Republican hands for several years.
In both cases the Republicans were tactically outplayed. The Republican machine failed to connect and voter turnout was extremely low. While the candidates themselves had some strong messaging, their label had lost a significant clarity. We can look to the legislative leadership and the governor for an explanation of what the Republican label still means.
Tulsa Republicans nominated Tressa Nunley for the post. Tressa is a common sense businesswoman and community volunteer. She's not been politically connected. But she's been serving in the East Tulsa district through her church outreaches and other community efforts. she knocked on pretty much every door and her campaign team had a lot of experience and expertise. But the voters on the right just didn't show up.
Republican senate nominee, Joe Griffin, is a political veteran and an accomplished communicator. He knows most of the statewide political class. But that didn't help. His base just lacked the motivation. If a senate race can't stir 4000 voters to cast a ballot, then apathy won the race. But ambiguity might also be the reason the culprit. A House race should always garner 2500 ballots. Perhaps "None Of The Above" was the sentiment of the electorate.
FOR SENATE DISTRICT 44 (UNEXPIRED TERM)
23 of 23 Precincts Completely Reporting
JOE GRIFFIN (REP) 1,213 (43.45%)
MICHAEL BROOKS (DEM) 1,579 (56.55%)
REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 75 (UNEXPIRED TERM)
14 of 14 Precincts Completely Reporting
TRESSA NUNLEY (REP) 977 (47.68%)
KAREN GADDIS (DEM) 1,072 (52.32%)